Direct Automation

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Check out how others are using our DirectLOGIC PLCs and related products!  

Application Brief Listing

Application: powers stack emissions monitor and data collection system

Products Used: LookoutDirect HMI software, operator interface, cables, DINnectors

LookoutDirect screen from Moss Point application - click for a larger versionDescription: The system is primarily composed of AutomationDirect products: an operator interface, cable, terminal blocks and PLC. A desktop computer (connected via RS422 on the lower PLC port) runs LookoutDirect software. The entire system is configured and programmed to collect data and perform automatic daily instrumentation calibrations complete with reporting and alarm functions. The units are sold through an emissions monitoring and servicing corporation.

Submitted by:
Moss Point Engineering, Inc.
Newton, NJ

Date: March 1, 2001

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Application: DL05 controls CNC plasma cutting machine head with stepper motor

Products Used: D0-05DD Micro-PLC, D0-01MC memory cartridge, 18MM Proximity switch

Description: D0-05DD Micro PLC controls plasma cutting head height over plate using proximity sensors and stepper motor drive in a closed loop stand-alone control. Used on CNC plasma cutting machines. Control accuracy is less than .021” resulting in consistent cuts and eliminating operator observation and intervention in cutting process. PLC also controls plasma start and stop commands and allows for fully automatic operation without a “babysitter”. Inexpensive PLC was the key to bringing this product to market. This complete system is half the price of the competition.

Submitted by:
Gurley, Al

Date: June 22, 2000

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DL05 with Stage programming controls hydraulic press

Products Used: DL05, IEC limit switches

Description: An older hydraulic press was upgraded. In the past, the operator had to reach in behind the unit to switch the electric motor on, then position the stock in the press, and manually operate a lever to raise and lower the cutting deck. Once the cutting for the day was finished, the operator had to reach around and switch off the motor. Our preliminary evaluation of the system found that the motor was also underprotected as it lacked overload protection. Our new system, with a DL05, now does all of this. A simplified operator station at the front of the unit does everything via switches, pushbuttons and indicating lights. The DL05 intelligently controls the raising and lowering of the deck by operating an electric solenoid bank via isolation relays. It also turns the electric motor on and off as required, performs system diagnostics with digital inputs for deck position via the limit switches and digital inputs for the motor status, and will even reset the system properly if a fault should occur. The results were an increase in productivity, safer working environment (we eliminated the tennis elbow developed by the press operator), and reduced maintenance requirements. The reduced maintenance is a result of the intelligent fault handling of the DL05. We sub-divided the system into four distinct parts so that if a fault should occur, troubleshooting occurs quickly and easily and the right maintenance person is then called if follow-up maintenance is required. All of this is done with just one indicator light and one push button. We attribute the success of this project to the DL05 family because of its low cost, ease of interface, the ability to expand in the future by adding one communications cable to another PLC, and the ladder logic structure utilizing stage programming.

Submitted by:
Shand Power Apparatus Research Corporation
Sherwood Park, AB, Canada

Date: May 6, 2000

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Application: DL05 controls positioning table on cotton coiler

Products Used: DirectSOFT software, DL05 micro PLC, FA24PS power supply, AMI-AN-1A proximity sensor, 22mm selector switch

Description: Customer had a problem with a cotton coiler head not dispensing an even coil of cotton rope. This problem resulted in coils too large for the boxes in which they were packaged. Also, this dual coiler produced only one coil at a time because it required an operator to hand shake the canister. The solution was to design and build a positioning table which would automatically move in 3 preset continuous movement sequences. The DL05 Micro PLC was the low cost answer. It almost seemed that some of the instructions in the software were made for this application! The low cost & durability of the proximity sensors were ideal for homing movements. The end result was that a custom made piece of equipment was developed for under $3,500.00. Better yet, a very satisfied customer was able to double production on that coiler by running two cylinders instead of one. It also allowed the operator to run other equipment in the area rather than "babysit" this machine!

I have now standardized my PLC based applications on equipment due to the quality and cost. I have found few other PLC vendors whose cost would let me keep the competitive edge that is needed in today's market.

Submitted by:
Automation Services, LLC
Maribel, WI

Date: March 28, 2000

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Application: DL05 PLC alarms personnel on a marine vessel

Products Used: DL-05 PLC, Optimate operator interface

Description: A marine vessel's main engine alarm system was defective, with a replacement alarm unit priced at well over $10,000. We were able to supply a DL05 PLC and operator interface for less than $2,500, including all parts and programming. This solution provided great savings for the marine vessel, and Versatile Electronics has developed a reconfigurable alarm system for almost any monitoring application.

This particular installation was fast, professional looking and functioned without a glitch. For the price and performance of these PLCs, we foresee the use of these in many applications that could be accomplished at a considerable cost savings without compromising performance.

Submitted by:
Versatile Electronics Inc.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Date: March 20, 2000

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Application: DL105 controls portable saw mills

Products Used: DL-105DR-D, DL-105DR, OP-1500

Description: We use the DL-105DR-D, DL-105DR , OP1500 interface panel and an optical encoder to control portable saw mills. The PLC takes preset values entered by the operator and sets the head vertically to within .020" of the desired value. The total weight of the head is approximately 1500 LBS, moving at 1ft/sec or greater. These machines are subjected to every environment on earth. The PLC and interface are mounted directly to the head, which is powered by a 4-cylinder diesel engine. This combination allows the operator to increase production speed and reduce waste; it also allows us the ability to customize functions with ease. In addition, the removable terminals allow the customer to perform field repairs and upgrades with minimal downtime. The reliability and ease of use coupled with the low cost make this option a customer favorite.

Submitted by:
Baker Products
Ellington, MO

Date: April 24, 2000

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DL250 and LookoutDirect control and monitor heatshrink tubing production process Application: DL250 and LookoutDirect control and monitor heatshrink tubing production process

Products Used: D2-250 PLC , color touch panel, LookoutDirect, F2-CP128 BASIC CoProcessor, F2-THM, thermocouple input module, F2-08AD-1 analog input module, and H2-ECOM Ethernet communications module

Description: A D2-250 based PLC connected to a color touch panel is the heart of a stand-alone custom heatshrink tubing processing machine. The D2-250 controls and monitors all digital logic and analog signals. Descriptive process information is shown to the operator via the touch panel. All controls except power and E-Stop originate in the touch panel. The CP128 BASIC CoProcessor has a custom program that communicates with two smart servomotors. It passes speed and operation parameters to the servos and polls the servos for status, torque and position information. The ECOM module is connected to a 10-megabit network and data is collected by Lookout Direct. The data contains all operational parameters for statistical analysis and process data collection. The ECOM module also allows backup of and modification to the D2-250’s program effortlessly over the network.

Submitted by:
Texloc LTD
Fort Worth, TX

Date: April 20, 2001

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Cubex Dye MachineApplication: DL250s and DSDataServer perform batch management in textile dyeing facilities

Products Used: DL250 PLC with I/O, H2-ECOM Ethernet Module, DirectTouch HMI and DSDataServer32 (OPC communication)

Description: Cubex has developed a Windows based Batch Management System that utilizes the Automation Direct DL250 line of processors. All production data for historical trending, alarm logging, machine control and production/efficiency/cycle reporting is provided through OPC and housed in a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database. Tools are included for controlling, configuring and scheduling machines, formula management, procedure management, reporting and troubleshooting.

The system has recently been installed in four textile dyeing facilities controlling 23 textile dye machines. The flexible system allows the machines to run in either stand-alone or hosted modes, using a DirectTouch touch screen for local machine setup and control.

Another application, Process Explorer, uses the same architecture for collecting and reporting process data. Process Explorer is generally geared more for discrete processes such as assembly and packaging. For more information visit Cubex at

Submitted by:
Cubex, Inc
Fort Mill, SC

Date: April 20, 2001

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Application: DL250 makes seed pellets, exchanges data with PC for setup and batch tracking

Products Used: DL205 Family with D2-250 CPU, DirectTouch M-320, H2-ECOM, DSData Server

DL250 makes seed pellets, exchanges data with PC for setup and batch trackingDescription: Several control systems utilizing the DL205 PLC control the speed of pumps and powder feeders to create seed pellets. The system uses a DirectTouch M-320 operator interface, and an H2-ECOM Ethernet module out to a PC, where the setup for the machine is stored in an Access database. The database and control software is controlled with a Visual Basic program and interfaced using DS-Data Server program. The machine is run manually from the operator interface, and the program logs all the starts, stops and speed changes. When the batch is done, it is saved in the database so that it can be recreated automatically at a later date, as well as being able to provide statistical data on batches and clients.

Submitted by:
Braceworks Automation and Electric
Lloydminster, SK, Canada

Date: August 23, 2000

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Application: DL250 allows remote control of industrial refrigeration units

Products Used: D2-250 CPU, analog inputs, RTD inputs, 120 VAC inputs and outputs, and PanelMate Color Touch Screen

Description: An industrial refrigeration firm was looking to upgrade its control package for its clients. They used the D2-250 PLC and wrote a refrigeration program that included enough inputs and outputs for 4 or more refrigeration control groups. RTDs bring in temperatures and analog I/O brings in the 4 - 20 mA signal for the NH3 (Ammonia) sensors. A system of 10 panels on a roof in Kansas is working great since installation over two years ago. The panels are "daisy-chained" with RS485 to an Iconics Genesis HMI in the maintenance rooms. The maintenance people are able to change the temperature settings and defrost settings, and even turn off a valve manually without climbing on the roof on a slick morning when it is 10 degrees outside. They are very happy with the PLCs and the price that they paid.

Submitted by:
Gary Bailey for Raider Refrigeration

Date: October 15, 2000

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Application: D2-250 cooks up a mean barbecue sauce

Products Used: D2-250 CPU, 9-slot base, RTD input, analog and digital I/O, H2-ECOM, DirectTouch color touch panel, DDE Server

Description: A Barbecue Processing Line consists of a cooking process, cooling process, packaging system, metal detection, and CIP (Clean in Place) system. Stage programming facilitated the five systems to reside on one PLC using a touch screen operator interface. The goal was to set up a BBQ Sauce Processing Line in a USDA inspected meat plant and produce high quality product with greater consistency and more efficiency. The PID functions of the modestly priced 250 CPU not only precisely control the cook temperatures but the built-in ramp/soak feature made the sophisticated cooking steps like childs play. The Toledo platform scale with analog output card made the packaging process completely automatic and still provided NTAP scale certification. RTD and analog inputs interfaced to a variety of temperature, conductivity, process PH, ultrasonic and hydrostatic level sensors for vessel and tank levels, as well as process parameters required by plant personnel and USDA. With just two inputs and two outputs, the metal detector was automated to reject contaminated product through diverter valves. The system includes 30 valves (sanitary steam and water), five product pumps, four chemical pumps and agitator drives. Ethernet communications networked with a popular SCADA package and the DDE SERVER package documents the entire process, generates reports and stores multiple recipes for different sauce recipes.

Submitted by:
Dan Stock

Date: April 27, 2000

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Application: D2-250 performs all controls for a glass tempering oven

Products Used: D2-250 CPU, DP-C320 touch screen, F2-04THM temperature inputs, DC I/O

Description: Our customer requested the development of a low cost and easy-to-operate control system for a glass tempering oven. The vertical oven is very compact, with 12 temperature zones (power and monitoring) and two inverters, one for the conveyor, the other for the fan air blower. Using the DP-C320 touch screen, the oven operator has total visibility and the ability to perform the job with minimum manual intervention. Using the touch panel reduced the hardware by eliminating individual control and indication devices. The DP-C320 incorporates all the switches to run the system. It displays the percentage of power for each of the 12 zones, zone temperatures (up to 720 °C), the oven cycle status, up to 50 recipes (for glass types and width), as well as the inverters' speed. This was our second application using the DP320 and the success of this system has allowed us to develop another oven for tempering glass with 36+36 temperature zones for increased production, using the 32-point module types.

Submitted by:
Ability Automation
Novo Hamburgo, BRASIL

Date: June 18, 2000

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Application: DL250 PLC and M320 touch screen controls wood fired boilers

Products Used: D2-250 CPU, M320 touch panel, DL205 discrete and analog I/O

Description: As a part-time consultant, I developed a control system for wood fired boilers based on the D2-250 PLC and the M-320 touchscreen. Standardized code, with options and adjustability configurable via the touchsceen, eliminates the need for a programming device for the startup technicians. The flexible I/O configuration of the DL250 allows users to invoke features that require alternate rack module configurations from the touch screen, followed by a powerup. (Try doing that with an A-B SLC500). Several of the internal PID loops perform control, and the internal floating point math allowed for the development of more complex algorithms. The M-320 touchscreen is very powerful, which makes the system user-friendly for operators that haven't had much experience with process controls. In addition to trend graphs, an alarm log, and pages with setup parameters, I included "slot monitor" pages that allow the user to view the status of every I/O point. These have a password activated "force" feature allowing the user to command outputs manually for troubleshooting. The user programmable objects have allowed the development of some very advanced features. One is a selectable timebase scrolling graph (a show/hide control object toggles between graphs set for different timescales). A password protected numerical entry box denies access to setup parameters until a 4 digit password is entered for that screen. I have connected the RS-232 output to a modem. This is issued text commands when alarm conditions exist, and can dial a numerical pager to alert remote operators. This software has been installed at about 10 sites so far across the country and has been very well received.

Submitted by:
Greg Flexman
Systems Developer

Date: May 8, 2000

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Application: DL240 PLC controls industrial cooling system at a paper company

Products Used: DL240 PLC, various analog I/O, DV-1000 operator interface

Description: A DL240 PLC with a 9-slot base handles all logic operations to control an industrial cooling system for a paper company. The system senses water temperatures and pressures and outputs analog signals to the variable speed drives for the respective cooling tower fan and pumps. Analog pressure and temperature signals are input to help determine motor speeds. An auto-changeover routine in the ladder logic switches to a backup pump in event of pump failure. The DV-1000 unit enables the user to adjust setpoints and timer values, and to view the status of the various system components. A toggle switch lets the user scroll through 4 screens of data in the message display mode. An alarm (audible and visual) is actuated for high temperature and for pump failure/switchover. Timers are used for a smooth sequential startup of pumps and the cooling tower fan.

Submitted by:
Morris Refrigeration
Clinton, MA

Date: January 21, 2000

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Application: DL240 PLC counts glass bottles and makes production data available to management

Products Used: D2-240 PLC, PC-205-DDE PC link software

Description: A D2-240 and sensors for sensing transparent glass bottles are used to accurately count the number of glass bottles manufactured and sorted at one of the premium glass bottles manufacturers in India. The ladder logic, incorporating the real-time clock and counters, counts and stores the data on an hourly, shift-wise, daily and monthly basis. The line speed is monitored with signals from the variable frequency drives. This data is transferred continuously to a PC over a serial link using the DDE driver, where it is transferred to standard database software like Microsoft Excel. This data is formatted here per the MIS requirements and the efficiencies are calculated. The formatted data in Excel is used for MIS report generation and printing using VB macros. This standard Windows compatible data format makes it available to other departments over the ERP network. The end result has been displacement of manpower (with a payback period of as little as 12 months!), better production scheduling, inventory management and online data availability for the sales personnel.

Submitted by:
Prudent Automation Private Limited
Secunderabad, India

Date: November 13, 1999

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Application: DL240 PLC goes for a tractor ride to monitor agricultural seeding operations

Products Used: 12v powered D2-240 PLC, DC inputs, OP-640 operator interface

DL240 PLC goes for a tractor ride to monitor agricultural seeding operationsDescription: This system was developed as a joint project with Starco Mfg. Inc., manufacturers of the Milton Precision Planter. The planters are pulled by a standard agricultural tractor; magnetic pickups mounted on the seed wheels of the planters provide motion indication to the PLC. The PLC processor physically resides on the toolbar inside a weatherproof enclosure and is powered directly from the tractor’s 12 V supply. Communication is routed to the OP-640 operator interface inside the cab of the tractor and provides the operator with alarm indication and seeding rate. Though the entire system is exposed to high vibration and extremely dusty environments, there has not yet been a system failure. Further agricultural applications are currently being pursued in association with Starco.

Submitted by:
Torque Process and Control, Inc.
Caspar, WY

Date: December 10, 1999

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Application: DL240 PLCs linked in a work cell produce PVC appliance gaskets

Products Used: DL240 PLC, D2-16ND3-2 DC inputs, D2-08TR relay outputs, OP-413 setpoint panel

Description: The DL-205 with the 240 CPU is used to drive two (2) separate, but similar machines, that are linked together in a work cell. The function of the (9) work cells is to cut to length and heat fuse sections of PVC appliance gaskets. I wrote the program with DirectSOFT in “stage” format, which I read about in the DL-205 Users Manual. The interesting thing about this application is that the two machines operate independently. Each machine has its own start/reset, emergency reset, and emergency stop buttons, but share a PLC and output power supply. I had been advised by a few fellow engineers and co-workers that this either wouldn’t work or would be nothing but trouble. However, the low cost, ease of installation and programming and excellent technical support have helped me to build a control system with a production capability of 1920 cycles per 8-hour shift, per machine. I am currently adding OP-413 setpoint panels to each work cell, so the operators can adjust constant timer values for themselves; this will cut down on maintenance calls for minor adjustments. Future plans include linking PLCs together with H2-ECOM Ethernet modules for monitoring and broad based control.

Submitted by:
Holm Industries
Hartselle, AL

Date: December 6, 1999

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Application: DL350 PLC and DirectTouch at the heart of an automated core cutting system

Products Used: DL350 PLC, DP-C320 touch panel, various DL305 I/O and bases

Description: The DP-C320 Touch screen coupled to a DL-350 CPU enables ease of operation and data entry on the CoreTech Inc. Model CM-11 Automatic core cutter. The CM-11 is a heavy duty, fully automated core cutting system designed for maximum productivity. True “walk away” operation requires minimum tending, frees up personnel, and delivers continuous top quality output with repeatable close tolerance cutting accuracy. Engineered for 3-shift durability, the CM-11 offers simple, quick job setup and machine changeover for flexible production versatility. To eliminate much of the apprehension and confusion associated with numerous operators CoreTech has incorporated most of the operator’s controls into the DP-C320 graphic touch panel. With the DL-350 CPU the operator can change up to 840 variables and still have room for future expansion. The DL-350 also communicates directly with the motion controller for instantaneously changing cut width on the fly.

Submitted by:
CoreTech Inc.
Easton, PA

Date: January 21, 2000

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Application: DL340 PLC drives spikes home for Norfolk Southern railroad

Products Used: DL340 PLC, DC inputs, relay outputs

Description: A DL340-based PLC is used to handle logic operations on a railroad spike driving machine. Older machines, which used relay logic, were an electrician’s nightmare with dozens of relays and a mountain of wiring. The new control system includes three DC input modules that monitor operator inputs, limit switches, and proximity sensors. The four relay output modules power 27 hydraulic and pneumatic valves used to drive an assortment of cylinders, motors, and rotary actuators.

The machine consists of a pair of independently controlled spike drivers attached to a mobile platform. It can be run by one or two operators, with one operator for each spike driver. Before allowing the machine to move, the PLC analyzes its inputs to make sure both operators are ready. After the machine has been positioned and an operator is ready to drive a spike, he presses one button which tells the PLC to step through the spike loading process. When the spike is loaded, the operator uses a joystick to position the driver and then presses a button to lower the driver to the tie. After the spike is driven, the operator pushes another button to raise the driver, and then he is ready to move on to the next tie. In the future we plan to add an Operator Interface to ease machine tuning.

Submitted by:
Norfolk Southern Corp.
Charlotte, NC

Date: March 10, 2000

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Application: Network of DL405 and DL205 PLCs keep the beer flowing at brewery

Products Used: DL440 PLC, DL240 and DL250 PLCs, high speed counter module, analog modules, Ethernet communication modules

Description: A network of DL405 and DL205 PLCs monitor and control the delicate process of producing quality beverages at the Ringwood Brewery in England. The Brew House system consists of a D4-450 CPU, 32 digital and 56 analog I/O, high speed counters, an Ethernet link and multiple communications to three touch screen HMIs. The PLC controls chemical dosing, water flowrates and temperatures, and steam boiling controls. In the Tun Room, a DL440 PLC performs fermentation and cooling of fermentation vessels, as well as gycol plant monitoring.The high speed counters, digital and analog I/O supply information to the D4-440 CPU connected to a touch screen operator interface. The cask filling process uses DL240 and DL250 based nodes totaling 128 digital and 8 analog I/O, as well as four high speed counters. Ethernet modules in each PLC provide a network for high-speed exchange of data and control information. A master HMI software package automatically trends and records all temperatures, flows and levels throughout the plant.. All PLCs in the system can also be accessed remotely via dial up networking.

Submitted by:
AK Controls
Dorset, UK

Date: June 28, 2000

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Application: DL405 performs hot wax transfer management for a corrugated box wax curtain coater

Products Used: DL405 PLC, various I/O, DV-1000 operator interface

Description: Control system produces a finished paper product intended for coldpack & freezer extremes. Machine production has doubled since the implementation of the DL405 control system! 8 slot backplane includes: 2-16 pt 120v in, 1-16 pt 120v out to control & supervise several motors and valve actuators, 1-8 pt relay to control existing machine entities (from existing machine power), one 16pt simulator card for manual force functions. The unique part of this system is that 2-8pt thermocouple cards are used for level control. It has been found in the industry that this specific wax is very difficult for various industry standard level sensors & devices to detect reliably and consistently. This process includes 7 process tanks, the first being bulk railcar delivery. From bulk storage, the wax is conveyed to various other tanks for temperature conditioning prior to delivery to the curtain. The DL405 dictates the filling of these through the T/C card data. In each tank, we simply installed 2 thermocouple probes, one being much longer than the other. When we see a mean indifference between the two temperatures, we know the tank is low. We also have a probe sampling ambient temperature so we know what type of offset to apply during marginal plant ambient temperatures. The DV-1000 continually & automatically scrolls various machine temperatures and conditions and reports statuses to the operator in English, without any intervention necessary.

Submitted by:
Weyerhaeuser Paper Co.

Date: May 16, 2000

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Water Heater roomApplication: DL405 runs hot and cold for water heater testing

Products Used: D4-450 PLC, D4-16NA, D4-16TA, F4-08AD, F4-08THM, D4-08TR, FA-24PS, LookoutDirect HMI, GH15DN-3-10A, GH15FT-3-00A contactors

SoftwareDescription: The D4-450 PLC and LookoutDirect runs Reliability Life tests on (8) individual water heaters to verify element life. System also controls a refrigerated test chamber where (18) glass tube defroster heaters go through a rapid cycle life test. A total of 12,600 watts of heat is generated during the 3.5-minute heat cycle. The average test chamber temperature is maintained to 38 degrees F throughout test cycles. A second refrigeration unit (3-ton unit) is controlled by the test system for water spray during the heat cycle. The average water temperature is maintained to 38 degrees F. The test system monitors and controls (4) variable transformers for input test voltages and regulates voltages to +/- 1 volt of setpoint voltage. System also monitors and records (14) Temperature points, (34) voltage points, (26) current points, (26) wattage points and (26) resistance points, along with water flow and water pressure. Data such as total cycles, burn hours, temperatures, currents, wattage and test voltages is stored in Excel spreadsheet format from LookoutDirect.

Submitted by:
A&M Electric
Guin, Al

Date: June 30, 2000

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Application: DL405 makes hay whether the sun shines or not

Products Used: DL405 and DL305 PLC systems

Hay compression equipmentDescription: Steffen Systems manufactures automated hay compression equipment. The machine takes a large 1500 lb. bale of hay, cuts it into 3 slabs, weighs each slab into a loading portion, then compresses it to about one third its original length with 1,000,000 lbs. of force. The machine reties the resulting bale with new twines, then transfers the bale into another cutting box, where it is cut again into 3 pieces. This results is a 60 lb. bale about 2-3 times as dense as a regular bale. This allows a customer to load a 40 foot ocean container with over 30 tons of hay, rather than the 10-13 tons that would normally fit. The current Asian market is buying about 3,000,000 tons per year which translates into over 100,000,000 of these mini bales. The machines use about 160 I/O which allows the whole process to be monitored by one operator. Currently this machine produces 12 of these bales per minute, and we are working on a faster model. We have used Koyo since the start in 1985 to automate these machines.

Submitted by:
Steffen Systems Hay Handling Equipment
Salem , Oregon

Date: March 9, 2000

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Application: DL440 PLC operates and monitors municipal water treatment plant

Products Used: DL440 PLC, D4-16TA AC outputs, D4-16NA AC inputs, D4-16TR and F4-08TRS-2 relay outputs

Description: This application controls and monitors the operation of a municipal water treatment plant. The software was written using Visual Basic 6.0 for the 20+ MMIs (operator interfaces), and ladder logic was developed using the DirectSOFT programming package. The system allows the operators to control every piece of equipment in the plant. This includes all pumps' lowlift, highlift, backwash, sludge and chemicals. The operator can see and change the dosages for 6 chemicals. The filters can be fully controlled in either auto based on flow, LOH of time or manually. The system has a data logger that logs all needed data at a time selected by the operator. There is also a program that allows laboratory data to be input and compared to online instruments, and that saves the values and deviations to a Microsoft Access database. The system has alarms with criteria editable by the operator. The system can be accessed via modem, the Internet or by direct dialup.

Submitted by:
Ontario, Canada

Date: January 21, 2000

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Application: DL450 PLC controls inline blending system to produce Marine fuel oil

Products Used: DL450 PLC, RTD input module, high speed counter module, analog output module, digital I/O, Optimate 1500

Description: The inline blending control system is designed to control the proportioning of gas oil into a stream of Marine fuel oil, not to exceed 380 centistokes in viscosity at a reference temperature of 50°C to the product. The OP1500 operator interface will permit the operator to enter / view the following parameters:

  • Preset total batch quantity
  • Percentage of Gas oil to be blended into Marine oil
  • Flow rate required of the blended thin fuel oil
  • Flow rate indication
  • Blended quantity indicator (Totalizer)
  • Temperature indicator

Operational details: During the blending process, the pulse output from the master flowmeter is read, then corrected by the temperature compensator (programmed in the PLC logic) which uses the RTD input as a reference. This results in a modified pulse value which represents the product volumes at base temperatures. The modified pulses are scaled down by a ratio controller (programmed in the PLC logic), then compared with the flow pulses from slave line. Any deviation between the two produces a 4-20mA signal which corrects the slave flow via the slave control valve, using the built-in PID function in the DL450 instruction set.

Submitted by:
Dubai, UAE

Date: November 12, 1999

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Application: DL450 PLC controls a salad washing machine

Products Used: D4-450 CPU, various analog and digital I/O

DL450 PLC controls a salad washing machineDescription: For controlling the process of washing and drying salad, we used the DL405 series PLC. The salad is fed into the machine by a vibrating belt. The washers and the dewaterer/drying machine are in separate rooms, called the "low care" and "high care area" areas. Therefore we used remote I/O between the sections. The system has about 200 digital I/O and 25 analog I/O. The system is equipped with 13 frequency controllers that are controlled by a Modbus connection from the DL450 CPU. The process is very special because we had to dry the salad, but at the same time the salad must stay fresh for selling in stores. The customer can operate the machine via SCADA software on the “high care” side of the machine and with a local HMI on the “low care” side (see graphic). Both HMI screens have touch capability. The customer can use Excel to create recipes, which are automatically visible in the recipe download screen, and these can be downloaded in the PLC. Depending on the recipe, the system, via the Modbus network, controls the frequency of control fans, belts and pumps to maintain temperature setpoints in successive zones.

Submitted by:
PCS Control Systems B.V.

Date: January 26, 2000

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Application: Think & Do is the glue that holds this box machine together

Products Used: Think and Do PC control software, DL-205 I/O & Ethernet base controllers

Description: Think & Do software and Ethernet-connected DL205 I/O control a French-made Martin Mini flexo folder/gluer that produces 28,000 corrugated paperboard boxes per hour, with multi-color printing, folding, gluing and stacking. The system uses 489 discrete inputs, 341 discrete outputs, and 3 analog outputs. A desktop PC, mounted in a NEMA 12 enclosure with a heat exchanger, connects to an Ethernet hub. Each of the 12 DL-05 I/O bases also connects to the hub. The 24 volt DC control circuit is segregated among travelling and fixed sections, some of which may be disconnected and removed from the machine with their I/O, and later reconnected, without changes to the wiring or program. Three sensorless flux vector AC drives, 75 HP, 30 HP, and 3 HP drive the machine. There are 56 three-phase AC motors, numerous air cylinders and other devices which control the process. Electrical circuits were made simple and the Think & Do program was well documented; these factors, along with the functionality of the HMI, have eliminated excessive electrical down time and greatly increased productivity. PC failure is no threat: we have unplugged the Ethernet cable from the system PC, connected it to a notebook computer, and immediately resumed operation.

Submitted by:
Inland Paperboard & Packaging, Inc.
Ontario, California

Date: March 28, 2000

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Application: WinPLC and Think & Do control a Calcium Hydroxide factory

Products Used: WinPLC, Think & Do PC-control software, DL205 Ethernet Base Controllers, 9-slot DL205 bases with various digital and analog outputs, DP-M320 touch panel

Description: At P&B Lime Works, 40 kilometers from the southern tip of Africa, Think & Do is used to control a complete Calcium Hydroxide factory. Analog and digital inputs throughout the plant provide information to four 9-slot DL-205 bases with Ethernet Base Controllers. Based on logic created in Think & Do flow diagrams, several processes are controlled. Calcium carbonate stored in five silos is fed through vibrators and a series of conveyors to feeder hoppers above two rotary kilns. The feeding speed and kiln rotational speeds on each of the two kilns are controlled by analog outputs from the PLC. Temperatures are sent by radio telemetry from both kilns through the serial port of the PC to theThink & Do application. The burner start cycle and subsequent temperature control and output of calcium oxide to the storage silo is controlled with I/O in one of the DL205 bases. The slaker, which converts the oxide into calcium hydroxide through the addition of water, is controlled by a WinPLC with a DirectTouch HMI to ease user interaction. Think & Do has performed extremely reliably so far, without any crashes to date. Think & Do is exceptionally easy to maintain and modify in a continually expanding factory.

Submitted by:
Telemetry and Testing
Western Cape, South Africa

Date: January 21, 2000

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